Improving "Primal Genesis" – "Magic: The Gathering"

With over 19,000 cards in the game, Magic: the Gathering has cemented itself as the most complex game known to humankind so far. Deckbuilding is as much an art form as it is a science, and many players look at their decks are labors of love and art. This is very true of Commander players especially, where a metagame isn't as enforced as formats like Modern or Legacy. Today, we at Bleeding Cool will be continuing our series of articles on how to improve the Commander 2019 preconstructed decks. A week ago, on Tuesday, August 13th, we improved upon Faceless Menace. Two days later, we worked on Mystic Intellect. Today, we will be focusing on improving "Primal Genesis". This deck is based highly around the Populate mechanic, and is a token deck at heart. We will be aiming to emphasize this main trait of the deck with our choices.

Commander 2019 banner

Choice of Commander for Primal Genesis

As I had discussed in the articles for improving Faceless Menace and for improvinng Mystic Intellect, for this specific series of articles we are first going to be focusing heavily on the "face commander" of the precon. This means the commander who is featured on the front of the deck's packaging. I may be writing more articles soon about the other commanders in the precons, but for now, let us focus on the face commander for Primal Genesis: Ghired, Conclave Exile.

Ghired, Conclave Exile

Best Choices for Cuts

The following twenty Magic: the Gathering cards were cut from Primal Genesis to make room for new addiitons to the deck, for varied reasons. Some were not synergistic with the theme, some cards were outclassed by other cards, and some where simply unecessary in general. The list of cuts and why they were cut is as follows:

Creature (9)
  • Atla Palani, Nest Tender – Not entirely synergistic in the 99 of a deck, better as own commander
  • Roc Egg – Generally useless without Atla Palani, Nest Tender
  • Dragonmaster Outcast – Small body and easily disruptable due to slow speed of effect
  • Tectonic Hellion – Land destruction is strong but usually begrudged
  • Doomed Artisan – see Dragonmaster Outcast
  • Soul of Zendikar – Expensive body that makes expensive bodies
  • Giant Adephage – Too slow to make effect impactful
  • Scaretiller – Not synergistic, expensive body for its ability
  • Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage – Not durable, populate is mana-intensive
Sorcery (3)
  • Explore – Ramp outclassed by Kodama's Reach
  • Harmonize – Superfluous and expensive draw spell
  • Hate Mirage – Generally outclassed by Mirror March
Instant (2)
  • Momentous Fall – Superfluous and outclassed by Shamanic Revelation
  • Trostani's Judgment – Far more expensive than its effect should cost
Land (3)
  • Kazandu Refuge – Superfluous and outclassed overall by Talisman cycle
  • Graypelt Refuge – see Kazandu Refuge
  • Rugged Highlands – see above, but with the added note that Highlands doesn't gain you life
Enchantment (2)
  • Commander's Insignia – "Anthem" effects were less necessary with larger bodies
  • Elemental Bond – Superfluous draw effect, and we already have Garruk's Packleader
Planeswalker (1)
  • Garruk, Primal Hunter – Outclassed by Garruk Wildspeaker to a degree, too green-intensive

This deck was admittedly quite hard to make cuts for. The deck as a whole is very solid, and the rest of the deck is already quite formidable. Our additions will be great for making this Magic deck even better than it already is.

Choices for Additions, and Where to Obtain Them

Like I did with Faceless Menace and Mystic Intellect, I have compiled a list of the good additions for the deck. I tried to use newer cards from sets mostly in print, although some cards are older and thus are a bit less easily-accessible. That being said, you can view my completed decklist here, with a more detaild list of reasons for the changes. This decklist is in my TappedOut link, here.

Creature (7)
  • Omnath, Locus of Rage (Battle for Zendikar)
  • God-Eternal Oketra (War of the Spark)
  • Voice of Resurgence (Modern Masters 2017)
  • Armada Wurm (Selesnya Guild Kit)
  • Sun Titan (Commander 2019)
  • Avenger of Zendikar (Commander 2018)
  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker (Iconic Masters)
Sorcery (1)
  • Kodama's Reach (Ultimate Masters)
Artifact (6)
  • Strionic Resonator (Commander 2019)
  • God-Pharaoh's Gift (Hour of Devastation)
  • Throne of the God-Pharaoh (Amonkhet)
  • Talisman of Impulse (Mirrodin)
  • Talisman of Conviction (Modern Horizons)
  • Talisman of Unity (Mirrodin)
Enchantment (5)
  • Anointed Procession (Amonkhet)
  • Warstorm Surge (Commander 2019)
  • Mirror March (Ravnica Allegiance)
  • Luminarch Ascension (Masters 25)
  • Sandwurm Convergence (Amonkhet)
Planeswalker (1)
  • Garruk Wildspeaker (Duel Deck Antholog: Garruk Vs. Liliana)

Concluding Improvements

In testing the Magic: the Gathering deck I found it to be quite aggressive right off the bat, even by Commander's standards. It does the exact thing you want it to do, provided you make sure you time the populating right and pretty much always are on an offensive. If you try it yourself, feel free to comment on how Primal Genesis works for you, and if the improvements we have made are any good.

Magic: the Gathering – Commander 2019 releases to local game stores on August 23rd in English, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Commander 2019 packaging

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.